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Microgaming have acquired near-legendary status in the casino gaming market, having built over 700 unique software titles. They opened the internet’s first online casino, became the world’s first online casino software specialist, and have set several records for the payouts engineered by some of their casino titles. They have kicked their heels a little of late but came back with a bang in the summer of 2014 with the release of Jurassic Park, a 3D online slots game based around the CGI’d dinosaur classic.
So, where can you sample Microgaming games?
Microgaming are very much the pioneers of online gambling. Despite opening the first online casino, they found more success as a company by creating casino games and licensing them out to internet casinos. They had started out in 1992 as a company who recognised the tremendous potential the newly-established internet held for online gaming activities. Once more businesses eyed Microgaming’s success, the company stepped back and began to lease its successful gambling software to other providers instead.
In 1998 they launched ‘Cash Splash’, the first online slots game with a networked progressive jackpot. By 2001 Microgaming had flooded the online casino market with dozens of software titles. In that year they also won the first of their many awards, being voted the best casino software supplier by Casino Player magazine. They also paid out the first truly massive online progressive slots jackpot for someone who landed €1.5 million while playing their ‘Major Millions’ online slot.
Over the next ten years the company continued to land many ‘firsts’, including the first online slots game with over 100 pay lines. In 2009 they set a new progressive jackpot record when they paid out over €6 million to one lucky punter. The first online high-stakes poker rooms, where the likes of Patrik Antonius cut their teeth, were rolled out by the Microgaming poker network in the early 2000s.
The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) continues to flourish, and is the only real competitor to the industry-leading iPoker network as powered by Playtech. Among the poker rooms on the MPN network are BetVictor, 32Red and Nordic Bet.
Microgaming offer three main gambling products: casino, poker and bingo. For a long time, Microgaming abided by a basic game design and functionality template. This template for slots revolved around five-reel slots with multiple pay lines. All of their games were powered by the company’s Quickfire arcade platform.
The adherence to a basic template saw Microgaming start to lag behind their competitors, particularly NetEnt. In response, Microgaming released the ‘earth-shaking’ online slots game Jurassic Park in 2014, based on the high-grossing Hollywood blockbuster. This online slots game features ultra-smooth cinema-standard dinosaur animations, and 243 pay lines. There are also other bonus features such as the T-Rex Alert which adds 35 ‘Wild’ symbols to the reels, and a maximum jackpot of €95,000.
Microgaming continues to release new online slots at an amazing rate, and one that few other software providers can match. In the first three months of 2015 alone, Microgaming launched Gung Pow, Cricket Star (timed to nicely coincide with the 2015 ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand), Golden Era, Lucky Firecracker, Golden Princess and Lucky Leprechaun (not to be confused with Playtech’s Leprechaun’s Luck).
Sixteen of Microgaming’s games have progressive jackpots attached to them, and they are responsible for some tremendous, record-breaking payouts. The biggest win is £5,882,594 from Mega Moolah Mega, but millionaires have also been created by King Cashalot (£1,527,228) and Major Millions (£1,801,517). The company’s ‘Roulette Royale’ progressive jackpot is won if you bet on and win on the same number five times in succession. This jackpot has been on offer since December 2009, but at odds of just under 70 million to 1, it unsurprisingly has yet to be won.
As well as slots, Microgaming provides classic table games blackjack and red dog, along with keno and bingo games. It also supplies three-reel online slots, scratch cards and instant win games, all accessible through mobile devices.
The total number of table games that Microgaming provides are as follows: Baccarat (two versions), blackjack (11), craps, keno, casino poker, poker pursuit, red dog, roulette (6), sic bo and video poker (23). They also offer some very oblique games, such as the slots game Hexaline which resembles a version of the classic UK TV quiz show ‘Blockbusters’, and the bagatelle-like game Kashatoa.
Microgaming is also one of the true ground-breakers when it comes to live casinos. The company launched its live casino in 2006, and offers blackjack (seven seats), baccarat and roulette (European version – both single player and multi-player options). It also has an exclusive deal with the US company Playboy to offer live casino games with (female) dealers wearing ‘play bunny’ costumes. The live casinos themselves are located in Canada, Argentina and the Phillippines.
Nearly two hundred separate casinos use Microgaming software, many exclusively, due to the high variety of the games available. As of October 2014, RightCasino’s leading Microgaming casino is BetVictor.
Micrograming began to release online slots and other games for its mobile platform in 2011. Because most of the company’s online slots games follow the same, basic playing template, the software can be ported to both iOS and Android-based platforms with relative ease. Microgaming has continued to release mobile versions of its online slots on a regular basis, and were quick to take advantage of the added functionality of HTML5, which means their mobile games work on any mobile browser, including those via Windows Phones and Blackberry handhelds.
Here are some of the major developers of software for online casinos: